Submitted by Blake on January 22, 2009 - 2:25pm
You might expect forward-thinking libraries to put their databases online, to encourage people through their doors. But they can't. Even though they created the data, pay to have records added to the database and pay to download them, they can't.
"It's safe to say that the policy change is a direct response to Open Library," says Aaron Swartz, the founder of Open Library (openlibrary.org), a project to give every published book its own Wikipedia-style page. "Since the beginning of Open Library, OCLC has been threatening funders, pressuring libraries not to work with us, and using tricks to try to shut us down. It didn't work - and so now this."
Submitted by Blake on January 20, 2009 - 12:00pm
This report describes the results of a survey that Marshall Breeding conducted to gather data regarding the perceptions of libraries toward their automation systems, the organizations that provide support, and the quality of support they receive. It also aims to gauge interest in open source library automation systems.
This year, Marshall received 1,450 responses from libraries in 51 different countries. The countries most strongly represented include the United States (1,150 responses), United Kingdom (49), Canada (99), Australia (44). As with the general demographics of the lib-web-cats database, the respondents of the library primarily come from libraries in English-speaking countries. Survey results were gathered between October 31, 2008 and January 16, 2009.
Submitted by StephenK on January 19, 2009 - 3:56pm
OCLC announced today via e-mail and the relevant website a new service. In partnership with purported industry leader Boopsie, OCLC is launching a mobile-optimized platform for searching WorldCat.org. The service requires the download of a client package to your mobile phone or device for optimized searching. There is a list of supported devices available that appears to lack the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the G1 as the more recent Palm Centro devices as well as any tablets from Nokia or similar vendors.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on January 19, 2009 - 11:10am
With all the talk of Dewey or Don't We...
Gawd I'm getting tired of that phrase.
Anyway, with all the talk of whether or not libraries should use DDC, LCCN, BISAC, or something else for their collections and then the possibility of using open databases instead of OCLC, it seems like cataloguing is on everybody's mind.
It is over at LibraryThing too, where they've issued a call for the creation of OSC, or the Open Shelves Classification. They're looking for a few librarians who are of a mind to create a system that's free, "humble," modern, open source, and crowd sourced. Indeed, they want something that the library profession has needed for a long time - a modern system capable of changing, and changing easily.
So if you're of the cataloguing bent, check it out.
Submitted by Blake on January 14, 2009 - 3:05pm
biblios.net and the future of cataloging: Not to be confused with just “Biblios“, which is LibLime’s new open source cataloger’s editor. That’s cool too, but Jonathan Rochkind is talking about biblios.net, which is basically a shared metadata store. That is, technological support for ‘cooperative cataloging’. That is, what we used to call a ‘bibliographic utility’. The Biblios editor uses the biblios.net shared metadata store, but it’s not restricted to use by the Biblios editor, anyone can use it.
Submitted by Blake on January 14, 2009 - 3:03pm
Chances to stop and think about the future of library catalogs: From WorldCat to Google, the way we use catalogs and other metadata services is changing rapidly. John Mark Ockerbloom hopes we’ll have a chance during ALA, and during OCLC’s policy review period, to think carefully and creatively about how we should change these services to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s information seekers. And then he hopes we’ll make those changes happen.
Submitted by Blake on January 13, 2009 - 8:12pm
Good News! OCLC Board of Trustees and Members Council to convene Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship...
OCLC Members Council and the OCLC Board of Trustees will jointly convene a Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship to represent the membership and inform OCLC on the principles and best practices for sharing library data. The group will discuss the Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records with the OCLC membership and library community.
The purpose of this Review Board is to engage the membership and solicit feedback and questions before the new policy is implemented. In order to allow sufficient time for feedback and discussion, implementation of the Policy will be delayed until the third quarter of the 2009 calendar year.
Submitted by Blake on January 11, 2009 - 11:46am
A proposed OCLC Policy got Tim thinking about compiling all the arguments against the Policy. He wants to start with the process and legal ones, which have gotten very short shrift. OCLC spokespeople are persuasive personalities, and OCLC's "Frequently Asked Questions" allay fears, but the Policy itself is a scary piece of legal writing and, as it explictly asserts, the only writing that matters. He finishes with a call to action:
Librarians and interested parties have only a month before the OCLC Policy goes into effect. It is time to put up or shut up.
* The New York Public Library is hosting a moderated discussion with OCLC Vice President Karen Calhoun from 1-4pm on Friday, January 17. Show up and make your displeasure known.
* Visit and link to the Code4Lib page on OCLC Policy change.
* Sign the Internet Archive/Open Library petition to stop the OCLC Policy.
* Sign librarian Elaine Sanchez's petition.
Submitted by StephenK on January 6, 2009 - 3:24pm
Heidi Lee Hoerman, an instructor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina, has started a new blog. Future4catalogers is a blog attempting to look at what is coming in the disciplinary realm of bibliographic control. The blog was announced Monday on AUTOCAT.
Submitted by Blake on December 8, 2008 - 7:22am
Hiding My Candy: Give Me The Option To Share My Reading. The Free Range Librarian:
I expect librarians to protect my privacy by going to bat for me when the government or industry over-intrudes, not by designing systems that make it impossible to have an online presence in their systems. I want companies and organizations that gather this data to use it in ways that improve my experiences — making my life more efficient, fun, and interesting — and yes, they can use it to improve their experiences, as well.
Submitted by Blake on December 2, 2008 - 9:07am
Over on Linux Journal Glyn Moody takes a poke at OCLC:
For some in the world of free software, libraries are things that you call, rather than visit. But the places where books are stored – especially those that make them freely available to the public – are important repositories of the world's knowledge, of relevance to all. So coders too should care about them alongside the other kind, and should be concerned that there is a threat to their ability to provide ready access to knowledge they have created themselves. The good news is that open source can save them.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on November 15, 2008 - 9:59pm
OCLC may be trying to pull something sneaky with its new policy of claiming contractual rights over the subsequent use of data created by OCLC. In other words, the data in library catalogues couldn't be used to make anything which competes with OCLC in any way.
Needless to say, this would have a hash chilling effect on the creation of open databases of library content.
As you might expect, the library blogosphere is on fire with the news. The podcast presenter at LISNews gave a commentary in the matter during LISTen #47.
Story from Slashdot.
Submitted by Blake on October 22, 2008 - 7:30am
The idea is simple:
* Your library patrons get to review anything in your library.
* Libraries share reviews, so a critical mass can build.
* It comes with 200,000 high-quality, vetted reviews from LibraryThing.
* Your patrons get blog widgets and a Facebook application to show off their reviews—and their love for their library. Don't get why this is great? Keep reading.
Submitted by Blake on October 21, 2008 - 12:27pm
The Semantic Web envisioned by Berners-Lee, Hendler, and Lassila in 2001 was a grandiose vision that involved the use of agents to book doctor appointments and to find the best driving routes with the least hassle. The envisaged system was built upon formal ontologies that had already achieved a large following of scientists and agent developers. Although they raised some important issues and put forward interesting connections between technologies, they missed one thing: the fact that the Web had turned into a web of documents. Therefore, a middle way needed to occur between the formalism of ontologies and the informalism of documents. This is known as Linked Data. Linked Data coupled with agent technology is an ideal way of dealing with Semantic Web data. This article provides an overview of the Interlinked Semantic Web, agent technologies, and an example of the two combined.
Submitted by Blake on October 19, 2008 - 1:31pm
If you don't know about the Social OPAC application suite--an open source social discovery platform for bibliographic data, you're really missing out. SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog) is a Drupal module that provides true integration of your library catalog system with the power of the Drupal content management system while allowing users to tag, rate, and review your holdings. User input is then incorporated into the discovery index so that SOPAC becomes a truly community-driven catalog system.
I Talked With John about SOPAC, and how it's used. (note: the recording got a bit messy, our voices end up overlapping towards the end of the recording).
Some of the other features of SOPAC include:
* Faceted browsing
* Ajax-empowered interface with native jQuery support
* 100% customizable interface via the Drupal template system
* Ability to remove search limiters
* Saved searches
* Integrated renewals, holds placement, and fine payment
* Ability to customize the user experience via the administrative control panel
* Ability to create custom functionality via a Drupal sub-module
Submitted by Martin on October 16, 2008 - 8:06am
<a href="http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08092404metadata_group.asp">From a photography trade show</a> comes the announcement that The Metadata Working Group, an alliance among a half-dozen major digital camera manufacturers, “has published its first guidelines on the use of image metadata. The guidelines suggest methods to increase interoperability and storage of shooting settings and other associated data in digital images.
Submitted by Blake on October 9, 2008 - 6:33am
Learn how to construct your own library cataloging system for your home using IBM® WebSphere® sMash to create a dynamic user interface and REpresentational State Transfer (RESTful) interface to a Derby database of books. You'll be able to do the usual list, create, retrieve, update, and delete (LCRUD) operations, but most of all you'll have fun exploring this fantastic new software.
There are at least two ways you can build a sMash application. One is to use the Eclipse plug-in for sMash. Another is to use the nifty Web-based Application Builder (AppBuilder) that comes with sMash. Both of these environments have merit and value, so it is really a matter preference. This exercise uses the Web-based AppBuilder that is included with sMash.
Submitted by effinglibrarian on September 25, 2008 - 4:31pm
Here is an article which discusses whether it's a copyright violation to display a book cover on library web sites.
Here is the.effing.librarian's opinion of the broader issue:
For years, librarians have been looking at books and telling people what the book is about: Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863 -- Fiction.
And for years, people, including competing authors, have been able to riffle through these collections of book records, or "card catalogs," to see what other authors are publishing. Visiting the stacks to examine these texts is time-consuming, but librarians have been bypassing the originals materials to make this very valuable and useful information freely available to competitors for years.
You can argue that the nature of cataloging is necessary to libraries; but is it, really?
Do libraries really need to decide in which subject category to classify a book for someone to find it? Can't people just browse through all the books to find what they want?
And worse yet, libraries have been uploading these catalogs onto the Internet, thus making all of this copyrighted material available to anyone with Internet access. Shouldn't authors and publishers be protected from this blatant disregard for their intellectual property rights?
Is this legal?
Sure, you can argue fair use, but really, what is fair?
Submitted by Blake on September 24, 2008 - 10:07am
OCLC Abstracts Says You and your users can now keep track of your favorite items in WorldCat through tags—keywords that help you classify or describe an item. Tags are displayed in search results lists and may help you find similar items or organize items in a way that makes sense to you. You can add as many tags as you would like to an unlimited set of items. You can view and maintain all of your personalized tags from your WorldCat profile page. Plus, you can also browse items using the tags other people have contributed.
Submitted by Blake on September 22, 2008 - 1:08pm
Southtown Star - Chicago,IL, Dewey overdue for a makeover, librarians say
In the sober, settled atmosphere of a library there is a radical movement afoot that is knocking books off their long established shelves and throwing Dewey out the window.
At 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, when most library patrons are pulling the covers over their heads, refusing to acknowledge the rising sun, two bold and daring librarians are stirring at the Frankfort Public Library, shuffling books and tearing off those time-honored Dewey Decimal System numbers that no one really understood anyway.